Te Whare Awhero (Hope House) operating under the Hornby Presbyterian Community Trust.

About Us

Te Whare Awhero (Hope House) is a faith based organisation, operating under the Hornby Presbyterian Community Trust and located in Hornby providing community based services at the grassroots to bring hope. Some of our services include, community development projects, counselling, practical support, Mentoring, community based research and spiritual direction.

We run large events on a regular basis for the community to get together. One pratical way of helping is we can provide firewood when supplies and when volunteers are available to help.

We also provide professional research, training and consultation with community organisations in the helping profession. We connect and work collaborativly with many service providers and through these can organise, advocay, wider support, we have a professional community care team able to undertake assessments and social workes available.


At Te Whare Awhero Counselling We Offer
Professional Supervision
Social Work
P.A.T.H.S Counselling
Workplace Counselling
Social Research and Development
Community Care Team
Communities and Neighbours (CAN)

At Te Whare Awhero all our Counsellors adhere to the professional code of ethics of the ANZASW, NZAC, and or NZCCA.  Confidentiality is also important to us and all our Counsellors abide by and to the provision the Privacy Act 1993.  We have available both male and female fully qualified and trainee counsellors. Our trainees are enrolled in a Tertiary Institute that are working towards a Diploma or   Degree in Counselling. The counselling    provided by our Counsellors is monitored by internal and clinical supervision.  Costs vary on a case by case basis, taking into account the situations and circumstances of those obtaining our services. Please contact us for more information.


Our Trustees


SydneyAlan Ferguson - Board Member

Hi I’m Alan Ferguson; I have been married to Shirley for 36 years.  Life is full of fun, challenges and chilling out with our six adult children (David, Teresa, Daniel, Joanna, Justine and Nathan), two sons’ in-law (Noel and Reuben) and two grandkids (Ethan and Kayla).  All live around the west of Christchurch except Daniel who is in Laos.  We have been part of the Hope Presbyterian family since the 1970’s. Workwise, I have been involved with applying computer applications in a science environment (mainly building an information system to support the NZ Drinking Water Standards).  Some other random facts are; we spent 3 years in Bangladesh in the 1980’s, I get around on a 1200cc motorbike and I am currently (happily) retired/between jobs/unemployed.  I currently chair the Hope Presbyterian Community Trust.

Sydney Bill Penno - Acting Chairman

Hi I’m William (Bill) Penno; I lived and farmed at Morven in the Waimate District until the end of 2012.  I have been married to Janice (Jan) for 49 years and we have four grown children.  I was invested with a Queens Service Order (QSO) for community service in 2005 and although not a Rotarian then, a “Paul Harris Fellow” Rotary medal in 2011.  I was Moderator of the South Canterbury Presbytery for three years and for a number of years, convenor of several committees.   My Community involvement included a number of national, regional and local bodies. This included Waimate Hospital committee, South Canterbury catchment board and Canterbury regional council.  My home church was Morven Presbyterian Church; I was involved in many Leadership roles including being a locally ordained Minister from 2007.  Since then we became involved with Hope Church Hornby and subsequently I have become a board member of HPCT.  Spare time activities include reading and yachting – mainly thinking about it.  As a committed Christian I believe that we should respond to opportunities to serve if called to do so and if others consider we have the necessary attributes.  I believe that as Christians we need to reach out where people are both within the church and in the wider community.


Emma Hamish Galloway - Board Member

Hi I’m Hamish Galloway; I am the senior pastor at Hope Presbyterian. Married to Anne for over 35 years, we have 3 grown up children and 3 grandchildren. Among other things I love to golf, cook seafood dishes, read novels and watch good movies. Getting into a good TV series is also a passion, as is pottering in my garden, taking the dog for a walk or having a philosophical talk with a friend over coffee or a nice craft beer! I love the emphasis that Hope has on community involvement. The church has had a long history of involvement in Hornby and Hei Hei. More recently this has grown to include West Melton and Rolleston. We are strong supporters of Te Whare Awhero.  I love the way Te Whare Awhero is growing links with the community – I have a passion for community development and am proud to be a trustee.

NicoleShirley Thorner - Board Member

Hi I’m Shirley, a married mother of four adult daughters, and Nana to 7 grandchildren.  My interests include reading, the daily puzzles in the paper, family history and simple crafts.  My working life until retirement two years ago has taken me from Auckland to Invercargill in numerous roles including a school teacher, minister of religion, social worker, English language teacher, customer services officer and addictions counsellor. I am pleased to be able to offer this life experience as a trustee of HPCT.

NicoleMalcolm Millar - Board Member

Hi, I am Malcolm. I am now retired, and have been married to Raewyn for 37 years. We have 3 adult children and 4 gorgeous grandchildren. My working life has consisted of farming 14 years, groundsman at Living Springs 10 years and caretaker at a school for 25 years. I have a disability that has worsened over time, and in that have seen life from a different angle to others. Through this, I believe I have a unique perspective to bring to the trust. My interests are gardening, conservation, and being resourceful.




Key Staff


SydneyBlair Stirling - Centre Director (Dip Min, BTheol, Dip Grad, PGDipCApSc, PhD, MANZASW, COP NGO Leadership)

Blair is our Director here at Te Whare Awhero (operating under the Hornby Presbyterian Community Trust) and oversees our day-to-day operations and Ministries.  While he has a long list of hard earned credentials (Dip Min, BTheol, Dip Grad, PGDipCApSc, PhD, MANZASW, COP NGO Leadership), he has an evident servant heart and a passion for people and community.  After the 2010/11 earthquakes he undertook research for the CCC looking at the effects of the earthquakes on the Riccarton/Wigram Ward and developing a strategic plan to help the community going forward.  He has also been involved in consultation for Hornby Heartlands and involvement in the local Community Kaitiaki consultation Group.  This is all over and above his daily counselling, supervision and social work appointments and Director’s Duties.  He has a strong relational leadership style and surrounds himself with a strong organisational support team.

SydneyLyna Ruffell - Counselling Coordinator and Qualified Counsellor, Bachelor of Counselling (MNZCCA)

Hi I'm Lyna, I have a Bachelor of Counselling (Vision College) and am the Coordinator of our Counselling Team. “My areas of interest include: developing personal and professional self-awareness including identity, and exploring relationship difficulties. I also have an interest in women’s issues and parent child difficulties. My passion is to help those in the helping profession and to see healing and restoration occurring in all our lives. I enjoy painting, going to the beach and relaxing.”

Sydney Kirstin Dingwall-Okoye - Social Worker

Hi I'm Kirstin Dingwall-Okoye, I came to work at Te Whare Awhero on the CAN Project in November 2013. I have one son, called Chidu. We really enjoy going out for sushi together when we have the chance. I was born in the deep south, brought up in rural South Canterbury, until my tertiary education released me into the city which would become my primary home in my adulthood. My education background is constantly being extended as I am working towards a Masters in Applied Social work. I already have a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, a Postgraduate Diploma in International Development, a Diploma in Careers Guidance, and a myriad of certificate level qualifications. In work, I have been in pastoral and youth ministry for 16 years, which alternated with being a Chef and caterer. I owned my own catering business prior to getting back involved in the Community Development field.

Emma Kerrie van Woerden - Office Administrator

Hi I’m Kerrie, I am the Office Administrator at Te Where Awhero. I am a wife to David and mother of 3 beautiful children, Sophia, Jason and Luka. I am trained as a Medical Receptionist and continue to develop my administrative skills, most recently completing a Certificate in Business Administration. My passions are Faith , Family and Cars. I also enjoy the outdoors and keeping fit both mentally and physically. I also have a keen interest in Asia, in particular India and it's beautiful people, where I grew up during my teenage years attending an American Boarding School in the Himalayas.

Our Trustees



Brochure Gallery

Services Overview

Our vision at Te Whare is to positively influence and strengthen our community by offering services that embrace families and individuals facing life's changes

Contact Us

Te Whare Awhero (Hope House) is located in Hornby, Christchurch operating under The Hornby Presbyterian Community Trust.

36 Amyes Rd Hornby Christchurch

03 9674673